• New York to make state’s strict gun laws even stricter

    New York State is nearing an agreement on a proposal to put some of the toughest gun-control laws into effect. The laws include expanding the definition of banned assault weapons, limiting magazines to seven rounds, and requiring background checks on people who buy ammunition

  • Biden hints at executive action on gun violence

    Vice President Biden on Wednesday said the White House could use executive orders to advance gun control measures. Biden held a series of meetings Wednesday in the White Housed on the topic of gun violence and the ways to reduce it; in a meeting with gun-safety and victims groups, Biden said: “There are executive orders, executive action that can be taken,” adding: “we haven’t decided what that is yet”

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  • Advocates of immigration reform eye Canada’s guest worker program as a model

    When many Mexicans head north for seasonal work, they no longer have to smuggle their way through the U.S.–Mexican border; now they can hop a fight to Canada; in a government-to-government deal between Mexico and Canada, almost 16,000 temporary Mexican workers are able to earn good wages in Canada as part of a guest worker program; as discussions about immigration reform in the United States continue, some eye the Canadian guest worker program as a model to be emulated

  • U.S. spends more on immigration enforcement than on all other federal criminal law enforcement agencies combined

    The United States has spent nearly $187 billion on federal immigration enforcement over the past twenty-six years — more than the spending on all other principal federal criminal law enforcement agencies combined; the nearly $18 billion spent on federal immigration enforcement in fiscal 2012 is approximately 24 percent higher than collective spending for the FBI, Drug Enforcement Administration, Secret Service, U.S. Marshals Service, and Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives

  • White House considering gun-control measures beyond assault weapons ban

    Sources in the White House say the administration is considering a broader and strategy on guns control in the wake of the Newton, Connecticut, mass shooting; the approach being considered will go farther than a ban on certain types of assault weapons; the Biden task force, which will submit its recommendations to President Obama in a few weeks, is leaning toward adoption of measures recommended by the law enforcement community, among them requiring universal background checks for firearm buyers, tracking the movement and sale of weapons through a national database, strengthening mental health checks, and stiffening penalties for carrying guns near schools or giving them to minors

  • FDA issues new food safety rules to fight contamination

    One in six Americans becomes ill from eating contaminated food each year; most of them recover without harm, but bout 130,000 are hospitalized and 3,000 die; the FDA estimates the new food safety rules could prevent about 1.75 million illnesses each year

  • Arizona GOP senators to push for immigration reform

    Arizona’s Republican Senators — veteran John McCain and newly elected Jeff Flake – let it be known that they would on the forefront of a bipartisan effort in Congress to overhaul U.S. immigration law; the two Arizona senators are now part of a bipartisan group of eight senators promoting a new comprehensive immigration reform plan

  • Court: Justice Dept. does not have to disclose legal memo justifying targeted killing of U.S. citizens

    Judge Colleen McMahon on Wednesday refused to order the Justice Department to disclose a memorandum which provided the legal justification for the targeted killing on September 2011 of Anwar al-Awlaki, a U.S. citizen; al-Awlaki, a fervent jihadi cleric, was killed in Yemen by a CIA drone

  • Report says regulation of foreign student program is deficient

    The Student and Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP), a subset of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) within the Department of Homeland Security, oversees nearly 1.2 million foreign students and their dependents, plus close to 7,000 educational institutions; an new report finds that SEVP rarely exercises its enforcement authority

  • President Obama signs private bill giving Nigerian student U.S. residency

    President Barack Obama granted a Nigerian immigrant his wish, signing a rare private bill into law granting the immigrant permanent residency in the United States; Victor Chukwueke came to the United States eleven years ago to undergo treatment for massive facial tumors, and stayed, on an expired visa, to graduate from Wayne State University; he wants to attend medical school, but in order to do so he needed a green card

  • Broader background checks, denial criteria may help prevent mass-shooting catastrophes

    Garen Wintemute, a leading authority on gun violence prevention and an emergency medicine physician at the University of California, Davis, believes broader criteria for background checks and denials on gun purchases can help prevent future firearm violence, including mass shooting catastrophes such as those that occurred at Sandy Hook, Aurora, Virginia Tech, and Columbine

  • Morsi signs decree putting new Egypt’s constitution into effect

    Egypt’s president Mohamed Morsi signed a decree Monday putting into effect Egypt’s just-approved constitution; Morsi signed the decree after two rounds of a referendum in which the voters approved the document by a nearly 2 to 1 ratio

  • Major surveillance law heading toward its own end-of-year cliff

    While coverage of the tense negotiations over a resolution to the fiscal cliff threat has dominated the media, the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Amendments of 2008 is heading for a cliff of its own, as the provisions of the act are set to expire at the end of the year

  • Is stricter gun-control legislation more likely after Newtown shooting?

    An American politics professor, specializing in the relationship between public opinion and legislation, says that the relationship between mass shooting and gun-control legislation is not straightforward;thus, there was a spike in support for gun control after Columbine, but not after the Virginia Tech, Tucson, or Aurora shootings; “The Newtown shooting is different than those shootings in some respects, especially because many of the victims were young children. But the magnitude of this tragedy may not be sufficient to produce stricter gun-control legislation at the federal level”

  • Divisive constitution appears to have been ratified in referendum

    Unofficial results, reported by Egypt’s state media, from Saturday’s first-round vote in the constitutional referendum show that the Islamist-backed draft constitution passed by about 56 percent of the vote in ten of Egypt’s twenty-seven provinces; the result in the first round may not be seen as a sweeping mandate, but the second round promises the Islamists a larger majority: the first round included many of Egypt’s big cities, such as Cairo and Alexandria, where the anti-Islamist groups are powerful; the second round will take place mostly in rural provinces, where the Brotherhood’s influence is much stronger